Archive for Rehearsal Swing

As a golf psychologist using hypnosis and NLP, I am often asked about the merits of taking swing thoughts or keys out onto the golf course when they play. I’m thinking here about some of the classic ones like “keep your head down”, “keep your eye on the ball”, “swing back in one piece”, “left shoulder under the chin”, etc.

Now, my major concern about swing thoughts and keys is not so much about their content, but rather about when you think of them. Some would argue that there’s no place for them at all during a round of golf and they should be confined to the practice ground. While I broadly agree with this, I feel it’s more important to eliminate conscious thoughts about the swing once you step in to address the ball.

There are parts of a golfer’s routine that require conscious though and there are parts where it’s better to trust your unconscious …
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Learn the Six Steps to Unconscious Putting, a key part of the pre-shot routine that Darren Clarke used so effectively at Royal St Georges in wining the Open Championship.

Unusually for me, there are no instructions here about using any formal self hypnosis technique before following these six steps. You’ll usually be using this technique as you transition from the conscious process of planning your putt in your pre-shot routine to the, hopefully, unconscious process of stroking the putt in your shot routine. Having said that, if you’re an experienced user of the “Finger Breathing technique, you’ll only need a couple of deep breaths at this point to get into just the right state.

Step 1:
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Better Golf with Less Practice

How do you make the most of extra time to practice your golf? What’s the best way to practice for better golf? Those are questions a lot of my clients have been asking me in recent weeks. For some it’s the long summer evenings, for others it’s holiday time and, for a lucky few, it’s about devoting themselves to playing golf full time.

Whatever your reason, one of the first things to consider is what form of practice will help you the most. Remember that practice doesn’t just have to be confined to beating balls on the range. What about …
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I’m delighted to announce the completion and launch of the ninth of my new golf hypnosis programmes, “Better Golf with Less Practice”, and I’ve subtitled it Practice and Play Golf in your Mind. It’s available to purchase now from the Golf Hypnotist Store.

Better Golf with Less Practice

This new “Better Golf with Less Practice” programme is available in MP3 format for download, with three powerful golf hypnosis sessions, each running for around 20-30 minutes. I developed the individual sessions on similar lines to the “Your Own Virtual Caddy” programme, so you’re getting more than three times the hypnosis from each programme. I have outlined the purpose of each track later in this email.

I will also be publishing just one more new and intriguing Golf Hypnosis MP3 audio programme before the end of 2010. As with the other new programmes, I will be including at least 3 new golf hypnosis sessions in this final programme of 2010.

Although the final programme name may change a little before release, here is the full list, for now:

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I’m delighted to announce the completion and launch of the sixth of my new golf hypnosis programmes, “Golf in the Playing Zone”. It’s been a dream of mine to help people to get into the zone when they play golf, especially around their in the Playing Zone, and now, here it is. I’ve subtitled the new MP3 program, Anchor Hypnosis Unconsciously for Golf in the Playing Zone and Silence your Inner Critic, and it’s available to purchase now from the Golf Hypnotist Store.

Golf in the Playing Zone This new “Golf in the Playing Zone” programme is available in MP3 format for download, with the three long and powerful golf hypnosis sessions, each running for around 22-32 minutes. I developed the individual sessions on similar lines to the “Your Own Virtual Caddy” programme, so you’re getting more than three times the hypnosis from each programme. I have outlined the purpose of each track later in this email.

I will also be publishing a further 4 more new Golf Hypnosis MP3 audio programmes over the next month or so. As with the other new programmes, I will be including at least 3 new golf hypnosis sessions in each programme.

Although the programme names may change a little before release, here is the full list, for now:


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I’ve been thinking about the application of golf psychology to the issue of the swing thought. In other words, what do you and should you be thinking about when you actually swing the club. It seems that every time I watch someone play they seem to be taking an inordinate amount of time fidgeting with their grip, their stance or their play. The more time they take to get round to swinging the club, the more likely they are to hit a bad shot. One golfer I met recently admitted to almost running between shots so that he has adequate time available to fidget over the ball.

The average golfer is often preoccupied with his current set of – sometimes conflicting – technical swing thoughts, from coaches, books, websites and golf magazines and TV programmes. And even if he isn’t, someone may have given him a set of the tee pegs I saw recently that had different swing thoughts printed on each one!

Now to be absolutely clear, I do believe that you should take adequate time to consciously plan your shots before stepping up to the ball and taking your stance. And this should include time to fully visualise and rehearse the shot or putt that you are about to make. I’ve written before about Jack Nicklaus describing how he’s never hit a shot without first seeing himself playing it …
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I’ve just been reading about Nick Faldo returning to competitive golf to play in the Open at Turnberry. It reminded me about his focussed determination on the golf course and prompted me to do a bit of research into his attitudes to golf psychology.

I’ve seen Nick playing at very close hand and even played with him in an open amateur tournament, the Hertfordshire Stag, at Moor Park back in the 70’s. I recall that it was just a couple of months before he turned professional and I was amazed at his confidence and scoring ability. I felt like I outplayed and outscored him both morning and afternoon. The scorecard told a different tale with me scoring to my handicap with a couple of 76’s against an SSS of 74 and Nick scoring well below par in both rounds.

Coming back to Nick’s current attitude to golf psychology, I was fascinated to find this fairly recent video article on YouTube with Nick giving a masterclass in Thailand on golf concentration and his mental approach to golf.

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I’m particularly in agreement with Nick’s emphasis on not using the word "Don’t" when thinking and talking about your shot – "don’t hit it in the trees"; "don’t hit it in the water"; etc. As Nick reminds us, your unconscious golf mind doesn’t know the meaning of "don’t" and does its best to deliver what you are thinking about – "hit it in the trees"; etc. I also like his ideas around visualising the shot you want to play, making a rehearsal swing to achieve that shot and then hitting it.

I’m certainly looking forward to watching Nick playing at Turnberry.

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